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Anshika Misra / DNA

Mumbai, Sep 22: Bombay High Court has ruled a divorced woman, who receives a monthly maintenance from her ex-husband, can also claim additional maintenance from her son or daughter.

In a significant order that will benefit women, who find it difficult to survive on the maintenance amount paid to them by their ex-spouse, Justice CL Pangarkar has ruled that, “There is no doubt that the primary responsibility (of the woman) would be that of the husband. However, that cannot absolve the son of his own responsibility.”

The September 17 order of the Nagpur Bench of HC stated that, “Even though the husband may be alive, the mother still has a right to claim maintenance from the son, as (the) son is one of those persons from whom a woman can claim maintenance under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).”

The HC order was passed in a petition filed by Rafiuddin Abedin challenging a Family Court order directing him to pay a monthly maintenance of Rs 1500 to his 63-year-old mother, Saleha Khatoon. The Family Court order was passed under Section 125 of the CrPC, which allows a magistrate to order a person to pay maintenance to his/her spouse or parent if the court is satisfied that the spouse or parent is unable to maintain himself/herself.

Abedin’s lawyer argued in court that his parents got divorced in 1973-74 and that his father paid a monthly maintenance of Rs 75 to his mother. He maintained that since his father was alive, the primary responsibility to maintain Saleha Khatoon fell on his father.

However, Justice Pangarkar said that Section 125 of the CrPC permits maintenance being claimed from husband, son as well as daughter. Stating that the maintenance paid by the husband was too meagre and that the liability of maintenance fell on a husband as well as the children, the judge stated, “Therefore, there should be no difficulty in claiming maintenance from all three or any of them.”

The HC, however, reduced Abedin’s monthly maintenance liability from Rs 1500 to Rs 1000 keeping in mind that he earns Rs 6375 a month and has three daughters and a wife to support.


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